Disability Inclusion Story
Enhanced inclusive participation of persons with disability in group farming
Owilli Michael (on the photo he’s wearing a purple t-shirt) is a 34 year old resident of Pamo village in Abim district who practices farming as means of getting income. Michael has lived with a physical disability for 34 years but this has not pulled him down. His left hand is paralyzed and thus a physical impairment.
"I know that I have a problem with my left hand which can’t function but the fact is that I still remain able to do everything I want", says Michael. In 2017, I was invited by Share An Opportunity Uganda who identified me through their community volunteer and I was asked to attend a meeting on Disability Inclusion. “I was so encouraged and built my confidence in participating along with others as equals. While in the meeting, we were encouraged to participate in every activity that could enable us earn a living. The facilitator for the training said "disability is not inability"and this statement increased my ambition in doing agriculture on a large scale.
After the training, I went back to my community and also spread the message to the community members and other Persons With Disability about how disability is not inability.
During the Disability Inclusion meeting by SAO Uganda, I was also told that inclusion includes access, and equal opportunities for all people to enjoy their environment without being left out on other platforms. For example ramps were advised to be put in all public places so that people with wheel chairs can easily access them, and then rails, sign languages in schools were advised.
I am motivated and plan to make sure that I become a model and exemplary Person With Disability to others by intensifying and practicing commercial agriculture. I also want to become an advocate for Persons With Disability especially for equal provision of services in public institutions, and inclusion in development whereby organizations should specifically target all to get involved in their own development. I am very sure that if all Persons With Disabilities received the awareness I got from SAO; motivation to get engaged in income generating activities could go high. I am so proud to identify with my group of farming and with SAO Uganda."